Loki setting the demoness on the fire giants might give me a respite.
Or it might make things worse.
Hoping for the former, I headed to work the next day – keenly missing Monica. Nobody else quite…it was not to say they didn’t understand me.
No, really, it was the reverse. I didn’t understand them. I enjoyed talking their language, but they seemed to come from some other world.
They were all talking about the gang violence – so that was how the news had rationalized away the minor demon invasion. I was glad that my black eye had already healed. If I had been mortal I would have had some explaining to do in makeup. Although, I could probably have told a slightly modified version of the truth and got away with it this time.
“The world’s going to hell in a handbasket,” a brunette near me said. “They really should send all the Mexicans home.”
I bristled, but didn’t say anything. I’d learned to ignore casual racism – it really was a minority, and I had to be professional.
And make sure I didn’t sit next to them for makeup.
“About time we took America back for decent people,” another girl said.
I bristled even more, and vacated as soon as I was finished back to the changing room. “Ugh.”
“You didn’t end up sitting between Alicia and Josephine, did you?”
“More or less.”
“Build a wall, send the Mexicans home, only good Muslim is a dead Muslim.” The other girl, who’s name escaped me, wrinkled her nose. “I know you’re safe. I saw your girlfriend.”
I laughed. “Doesn’t make somebody immune to being racist. I know plenty of racists who date black people.”
“You don’t seem the fetishist type.”
I considered that. “Hard to tell. Josephine doesn’t exactly wrap herself in a confederate flag, does she.”
The girl laughed. “I’m Maureen.”
“Jane,” I said, extending my hand. “Surprised we haven’t properly met before.”
“I wanted to be sure you weren’t, you know, like them before saying hi.” She wrinkled her nose again.
“I actually appreciate that you know I’m not.” Which I did. Although the last thing I really needed was another friend to get hurt.
“So what do you think about the gang violence?”
I shook my head. “I think it was drunk idiots that started it. Nothing to do with skin color. Just people being stupid.”
She nodded. “Yeah. People always are. Sometimes I wish benevolent aliens would invade and tell us how to live better.”
“Yeah, but then we’d be slaves.” Which was why I wasn’t supposed to…we weren’t supposed to actually interfere with people’s choices.
“I suppose, but I’m worried we’re going to blow up the planet.”
“We won’t,” I reassured her. Wishing I felt more confident than I did that the planet was not going to be blown up. “I’m more worried about climate change.”
“I suppose we can adapt to that.”
“If we aren’t too unwieldy.” I liked her, I decided.
But I couldn’t risk anyone else.